Panel Paper: The Effect of US Amnesty On Immigrant Youth Postsecondary Access

Saturday, November 10, 2012 : 10:55 AM
Salon E (Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Kalena Cortes, Texas A&M University

This paper contributes to the existing literature on the effect of legal status on the educational access of immigrant youth in the United States. Specifically, in assessing the impact of legal status, I use a difference-in-differences framework to analyze the effect of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, which granted amnesty to illegal immigrants who entered the United States before January 1, 1982 and had resided there continuously. The IRCA children have finally come of age, and this study analyzes the effect of this large amnesty program on immigrant youth postsecondary educational access. My main finding shows that those immigrant youth who were granted amnesty under IRCA are 10.86 percentage points more likely to be currently enrolled in college.